That was the view of Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel at the end of the second Challenger Series tournament, with South Africa edging Belgium in the final at Markötter Stadium for a second successive week.

Dazel said that while last week’s 17-10 victory was more workmanlike, Sunday’s 17-14 win was secured through sheer courage.

“Whenever you play with a Springbok on your chest, your opponents need to understand that you will never stop fighting and never stop trying,” said Dazel.

“The courage shown by our women here today was testament of that and reflected on the character of this team. They trained months for this, it was hard work and many early mornings, but that moulded them in this team spirit of not giving up. I am very proud of that, and I think they made South Africa proud today.”

Dazel said the team’s identity was shaped on the training field but came to light during the last two weeks of the Challenger Series, where they won eleven matches on the trot after starting the first tournament with a draw.

“The benefits of training together over a period showed, but more important was the way the team reacted in match situations,” said the coach.

“We really did good things out there over the last two weeks and that was so good to see. The players believed they could do it and now proved to themselves that they can be a core team.”

Dazel thanked SA Rugby for allowing the group to prepare so well and singled out his former Blitzbok team-mates Chris Dry and Cecil Afrika, as they assisted the coach at various stages in this three-month journey.

“We also collaborated with the Blitzboks and their knowledge, especially on how they prepare for three-day tournaments, which we copied in our preparations,” said Dazel.

“The reward is there for all to enjoy and be proud of, so I want to thank all of those that walked this journey from the beginning of the year as well.”

Dazel said the way the team stuck together was a personal highlight: “The core group was a tight unit and even when we brought in two players from fifteens in Jakkie (Cilliers) and Libbie (Janse van Rensburg), as well as Nadine (Roos) from Japan, the bond stayed strong, so credit to the team and leadership.”

The impact of Roos was immense as she ended up as the leading try and points’ scorer. This weekend alone she finished with 78 points from 10 tries and 14 conversions.

The South African also conceded only three tries all weekend, two of them in the final against Belgium.

Challenger Series final standings:

  1. South Africa – 40 points
  2. Belgium – 36
  3. China – 32
  4. Poland – 26
  5. Czechia – 26